Pregabalin

September 17, 2019

Pregabalin, marketed under the brand Lyrica, is used for the treatment of neuropathic pain. This pain may result due to spinal injury, post-herpetic pain, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and generalized and social anxiety as well. It is also used by individuals suffering from pain due to restless leg syndrome, pruritis, and chemotherapy.

Pregabalin And Its Mechanism Of Action:

Pregabalin developed as a successor to gabapentin and is an anticonvulsant drug. According to preclinical studies on anticonvulsant activity, pregabalin is known to be 3-4 times more effective than gabapentin. In fact, it works by reducing the excessive excitation of the nerves by binding to the calcium channels of the neurons of the brain.

Pregabalin used for the treatment of neuropathic pain

By inhibiting the calcium channels it decreases the neurotransmitters released in the CNS. As a result of which pregabalin imparts pain relief, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure effects. However, it is not narcotic in nature.

Pregabalin Uses:

Pregabalin has been found to be highly effective in pain management in patients suffering from pain due to nerve damage disorders like diabetic neuropathy, spinal cord injury, chemotherapy-induced pain, and chronic back pain.

  • It provides calming effects to fibromyalgia patients thus improving their quality of life.
  • It is found to be highly efficient in removing the itch and also reducing its intensity in patients suffering
    from pruritis.
  • It also imparts nerve pain relief to burn survivors.
  • The FDA approved pregabalin as an add-on drug to epileptic patients. Comparatively, it has been
    found to be 50% more effective.
  • Clinical studies show effectiveness in reducing generalized anxiety. However, it does not help in
    reducing anxiety in patients undergoing elective surgery.

how to treat neuropathic pain

Dosage:

It is given orally and is available as 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 225 and 300 mg capsule. The maximum dose is 300 to 600 mg depending on the conditions.

Precautions:

  • Patients undergoing hemodialysis should consult a physician and adjust the dose accordingly.
  • There is no indicative risk in taking pregabalin during pregnancy. However, the benefit should outweigh the risks to the fetus.
  • Also, it is not advisable to take pregabalin during breastfeeding as it is found to be excreted in the milk.
  • The clearance of pregabalin from the kidney decreases with the use of NSAIDs.
  • When taken with certain CNS depressants it may increase its sedative effect.

Side Effects Of Pregabalin :

Pregabalin has mild to moderate side effects depending on its dose and duration of the course, but it is generally well tolerated.

  • Pregabalin can cause weight gain when given in combination with hypoglycemic medicines.
  • 1 in 500 people taking pregabalin is prone to have suicidal thoughts or actions.
  • Some men may experience erectile dysfunction.
  • Most frequent dose dependent adverse effects include sedation, peripheral edema or blurred vision.
  • Suddenly stopping pregabalin can cause insomnia, nausea, headache, diarrhea, anxiety or excessive sweating.

Pregabalin use for neuropathic pain

Contact a doctor or go to an ER immediately if you notice any signs of allergic reactions such as swelling of face, mouth, throat, trouble breathing, rashes, hives. Also, any of the unusual side effects must not be ignored.

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